USA Wins Two Medals at 2022 FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup
The USA won a pair of medals at the 2022 FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup in Miami on Sunday, including gold in the men’s competition with a dramatic 21-18 win against Puerto Rico. The women took home the bronze medal with a 17-13 win over Colombia.
The gold medal game featured all the drama … Lead changes. Technical fouls. Rain delays (multiple). And Jimmer.
When the weather broke for the first time all weekend, wind carried water onto the covered court on the plaza outside FTX Arena, delaying the women’s gold medal game between eventual champion Canada and Brazil. The men tipped off about 30 minutes behind schedule and played until the 6:25 mark when the skies opened up on an 8-7 USA lead.
Twenty minutes later, tarps were pulled, the court was wiped up and things got interesting. By the 2:42 mark, the game was tied at 16 and the U.S. was issued a technical foul for arguing. Though Puerto Rico missed the free throw, they took an 18-17 lead less than 30 seconds later.
Not to be outdone, Puerto Rico was served a tech concurrently with a shooting foul against Kareem Maddox. Jimmer Fredette hit the technical shot and Maddox made his free throw to give the U.S. a 19-18 edge.
Fans barely had time catch their breath before Fredette did what Fredette does best … shoot. Despite missing four previous 2-pointers in the game, he connected when it counted to give the U.S. its second consecutive 3x3 AmeriCup title.
“I hadn’t made a shot all game, I don’t think. But I knew they (Puerto Rico) were looking good and that we had 19 points. They had 18, so if I had a good two then I was going to take it,” Fredette explained. “I’m a shooter and I am going to keep shooting. I’m going to see that ball go in at some point. So, it was really great to see it go in and win a gold medal.”
Fredette finished with five timely points, along with teammate and AmeriCup MVP Canyon Barry, whose 6.8 points per game average were second in the tournament. Maddox closed with a personal-best nine points, and Dylan Travis, making his USA national team debut next to Fredette, had two.
The USA claimed its spot in the championship with a 21-15 semifinal victory over Trinidad and Tobago using balanced scoring and timely defense. Capitalizing on 10 fouls by the opposition and only committing two, the U.S. scored five points at the line and didn’t give up a single shot with the clock stopped.
As he did throughout the tournament, Barry paced the U.S., recording a game-high eight points and scoring five straight points during a 12-0 run, which gave the Americans a 16-6 lead. With the lead built, the U.S. was able to sustain a late Trinidad and Tobago flurry. Maddox was active on the offense glass throughout the day and hit the winning put-back with 41.5 seconds left.
In a game that can only be described as very physical, the U.S. men earned a tough 21-19 win over Mexico in the quarterfinals. Mexico built small leads on several occasions until the USA would get back to within one point or tie the game.
Barry, who scored a team-best seven points, gave his team its first lead – 16-15 – after making a pair of free throws after Mexico’s seventh foul at the 3:55 mark. Mexico quicky tied the game on its own free throw before Fredette hit a 2-pointer and gave the U.S. the lead for good. Maddox sealed the win on put-back with 1:03 left on the game clock.
Brazil won the bronze medal over Trinidad and Tobago.
Following a heartbreaking loss to Canada in the semifinals, the United States had under an hour to regroup for bronze medal bout against Colombia. The U.S. won the game thanks to a burst of activity in the final 2:13 where they executed an 8-3 run and took advantage of Colombia’s foul trouble.
Trailing 10-9 with 2:25 left, Lexie Hull gave the U.S. a one-point edge after two successful three throws. From there, NaLyssa Smith and Camille Zimmerman combined for the final six points. Smith was visibly energized when she took a foul as she hit a layup and hit the ensuing free throw.
“I knew it was a close game and I wanted to seal the deal, so (I was) playing my hardest every possession,” Smith said.
Smith, who played organized 3x3 for the first time this week, scored a game-high seven points (4-8 1PT, 3-5 FT) to go with four rebounds.
“It was exciting, it was something I never did before,” Smith said of 3x3. “I came for the experience. It’s a new team but we have to keep getting better and better. I’ll be back and keep playing.”
The U.S. had a five-board edge – 20-15 – on the glass with each player gathering at least three rebounds. Veronica Burton had timely rebounds for each of her three on the game.
Zimmerman was one of three athletes named to the Team of the Tournament after averaging 6.0 points in five games, third among all scorers.
In the semifinal, the U.S. ran out of time against Canada, who got the 17-15 win in full gametime, in a back-and-forth second half. Canada’s winning points came on a pair of free throws from Michelle Plouffe, who led all scorers with eight points.
The Americans opened up an 11-6 lead at the 4:36 mark but then allowed an 8-2 run to give Canada a 14-13 edge on with under a minute to play. With the game ultimately tied at 15 with 1.9 seconds, the USA committed is seventh foul and gave Plouffe time at the charity stripe. The U.S. was unable to connect on a long 2-pointer as time expired.
The women opened the day with an 18-11 quarterfinal win over Chile, led by six points apiece from Smith and Zimmerman. Zimmerman also added four rebounds and four key assists.
The game was evenly matched early with teams trading made baskets throughout the first five minutes. After being tied at eight with 5:28 to play, the U.S. used a 7-1 run through the 2:24 mark to build a 15-9 advantage from which Chile couldn’t recover.
The FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup featured 31 teams, 18 men's and 13 women's. For more information, click here.